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Both the House and Senate voted to pass the budget resolution that is being used as a vehicle for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This broad budget resolution will serve as the "container" within which Congress plans to repeal certain provisions. However, nothing of substance has been decided yet, and it will likely be weeks or even months before we know what to expect for the ACA breastfeeding provisions. Although everything is still very much up in the air right now, action alerts will be fast and furious in the weeks ahead. That's why we launched a new text alert system to ensure that our dedicated supporters can quickly and easily respond to action opportunities right from their phone. Sign up by texting USBC to 555888!
Report on the Effectiveness of WIC Services, from USDA/FNS
The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services has issued a report on the WIC Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices Study–2 results on breastfeeding intention, initiation and duration, and the introduction of complementary foods. The study captures data on WIC caregivers and their children over the first 5 years of each child's life to address a series of research questions regarding feeding practices, the effect of WIC services on those practices, and the health and nutrition outcomes of children on WIC. Additionally, the study assesses changes in behaviors and trends that may have occurred over the past 20 years by comparing findings to the WIC Infant Feeding Practices Study–1, the last major study of the diets of infants on WIC. More than 95 percent of mothers who participated in the study reported that WIC played a role in their decision to breastfeed. Read the press release.
Implicit Bias Webinar and Assessment, from OMH
Join the Office of Minority Health on Wednesday, February 15, from 2-3 p.m. E.T. for a webinar entitled, "Implicit Bias: Uncovering Our Blind Spots." Participants will learn how to identify implicit bias in various settings; recognize microaggressions, microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations; discuss implicit bias as a contributing factor to health and healthcare disparities; and mitigate implicit bias with de-biasing techniques. In preparation for this session, participants are strongly encouraged to visit Project Implicit and complete several of the Implicit Association Tests. To access the tests, under "Social Attitudes" continue as a guest and click "Go." Complete the "Race IAT" and at least two other Implicit Association Tests of your choice.
WIC Action Alert, from MomsRising
MomsRising is preparing to go to Washington D.C. to remind Congress that WIC is a vital program that improves health outcomes for women and kids. Individuals are invited to sign on to a letter to educate members of Congress about the importance of WIC, and submit stories about the power of WIC.
Public Health Policy Recommendations, from AMCHP
The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs Policy has released a document featuring recommendations for the new President and Congress entitled, "Steps the New President and Congress Can Take to Improve the Health of Women, Children, and Families: A 100-Day Policy Agenda." The recommendations aim to help guide a policy agenda that can begin in the first 100 days to improve the health of all women, children and families, including those with special health care needs. The policy suggestions include a federal paid parental leave program and funding for WIC breastfeeding support.
Legislative & Funding Agenda, from NWA
The National WIC Association has released its "2017 WIC Legislative & Funding Agenda." The document includes policy and funding recommendations for Congress on improving the delivery of WIC services and data collection. The agenda includes a request for $90 million for the breastfeeding peer counselor program.
Action Alert on Potential Executive Order on Immigrants and Federal Public Benefits, from NWA
The National WIC Association has issued a statement in response to media reports that the White House may issue an Executive Order relating to public charge rules for immigrants, both legal and undocumented, who use federal public benefits. A leaked draft broadens the definition of public charge to encompass public benefits for which eligibility or amount is determined in any way on the basis of income, resources, or financial need. If and until the Executive Order is signed, it is impossible to know if WIC will be affected. Even then there may be no clarity until rules are promulgated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and relevant federal agencies. The statement includes four recommendations for actions.
Public Health Web Forum, from Dialogue4Health
Join Dialogue4Health on Tuesday, February 28, from 2:30-4 p.m. E.T. for a web forum entitled, "Leadership Approaches to Defending and Advancing Prevention and Public Health." The panel discussion featuring national public health leaders will highlight policy priorities for advancing prevention and wellness with the Administration and Congress. This Web Forum will also showcase the importance of leadership both in public health and across multiple sectors to integrate health care, behavioral health, social services, environmental health, and transportation.
Fundraising and Partnership Workshop, from NACCHO
Join the National Association of County and City Health Officials on Wednesday, February 22, from 2-3:30 p.m. E.T. for the fourth webinar in their Public Health Breastfeeding Series. The webinar will address how local health departments and community-based organizations can amplify the impact and longevity of community breastfeeding promotion and support programs through skillful leveraging of funds and partnerships. In addition to an overview of the public health significance of leveraging to advance community health goals, participants will receive functional insight from frontline public health practitioners on their organizational experience leveraging finances and partnerships to implement community breastfeeding projects.
News from the Field
Dietary Guidelines Process Report, from NAM
The National Academy of Medicine has released a report entitled, "Optimizing the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: The Selection Process." Congress mandated that NAM produce two reports evaluating the entire process used to develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a report that provides nutritional and dietary information with the intention of promoting health and preventing disease, and serves as the basis for all federal nutrition policies and nutrition assistance programs, as well as nutrition education programs. In this first report, the ad hoc National Academies committee examines how the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee selection process can be improved to provide more transparency, eliminate bias, and include committee members with a range of viewpoints.
Updated Safe Sleep Standard, from NRC
The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education's National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness has updated the Caring for Our Children, 3rd Edition standard regarding safe sleep practices. The updated standard is based on the updated policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Updates include:
- A revised title to include Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), the umbrella term for infant sleep-related deaths.
- Updated statistics on SUID in the U.S.
- An added recommendation for early childhood education settings to support breastfeeding given its association to reducing the risk of sleep-related deaths for infants. Note: Caring for Our Children, 3rd Edition has always recommended that early childhood education settings promote and support breastfeeding in other standards, but the specific association between breastfeeding and protection against sleep-related deaths was added to this standard.
- Specific mention of sofas and couches as unsafe sleep surfaces for infants.
Collective Impact Connection
Online Engagement Trends, from Tamarack Institute
The Tamarack Institute has released an article entitled, "Online Citizen Engagement Trends to Watch in 2017." The article provides information about how to make the most of online citizen engagement by providing relevant trends in current media consumption and attitudes. The article is designed to help advocates understand the current digital landscape and common mistakes when initiating engagement.
News & Views
Breastfeeding Medicine blog: "The Burden of Proof"
CLASP blog: "FAMILY Act rides wave of momentum into Congress"